Monday, October 11, 2010

440 million new hackable smart grid points

How to Hack the Power Grid for Fun and Profit

By the end of 2015, the potential security risks to the smart grid will reach 440 million new hackable points. Billions are being spent on smart grid cybersecurity, but it seems like every time you turn around, there is yet another vulnerability exposing how to manipulate smart meters or power-grid data.

At the IEEE SmartGridComm2010 conference, Le Xie, Texas A&M University's assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, gave examples of how attackers could hack the power grid for fun and profit. I quote from the reference:

According to the Lockheed Martin smart grid expert, there are three worst case scenarios for the 3,200 utilities in the U.S:

  1. Someone, a neighborhood kid or a person in another country, might turn off the power to a hospital or neighborhood in the middle of night.

  2. Voltage control devices could be hacked, turned up and down so that the voltage zaps computers, high-definition TVs or other voltage-sensitive equipment.

  3. "If you can cause rapid problems in the grid to occur in the right places at scheduled times, you could destabilize the whole grid, black out whole cities or states and cause massive damage." He added that some devices aren't available in the U.S. and could take two years to get a replacement.

Refer here to read more.

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